This painful condition is due to an uncontrolled nerve impulse stimulating the muscle(s) to contract strongly. It is often a nervous reaction of the body to real or perceived damage. The body tries to protect an area by seizing up, not allowing any movement of the damaged area.
These commonly occur in the neck and low back but can also occur in any area. In the low back, it is usually the large side-bending and erector spine muscles that are responsible. These are very powerful muscles which often render the sufferer immobile. In the neck it tends to be the ‘shoulder hunching’ muscles that spasm, often referred to as a ‘cricked neck’. Often muscles spasm in response to damage from other conditions such as slipped disk, arthritis, muscle tension/stress, whiplash, trapped nerves, scoliosis, etc
Muscle spasm can be distinguished from muscle cramps, which tend to occur due to exercise, lack of stretching or mineral deficiency
- Pain, often severe.
- Feeling of tightness/hardness in the area
- Inability to move effected area
Muscle spasms require a careful and expert diagnosis by a trained professional. It is a common presentation in clinic and where appropriate, receives careful and expert treatment. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, gentle treatment is performed to mobilize structures, balancing body mechanics, and freeing up the structures causing the symptoms. This reduces pain and increases balance and symmetry.
Ultimately the aim is not just to treat it but prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. This includes education on how to keep the area in question healthy in the future. Please call to talk to a trained professional if you want to know more.